MLB and the players’ union met for over three hours on Monday.
Considering their recent track record, that alone is an unequivocal sign of progress.
Last week, in their most recent session, the two sides met for only 15 minutes, leading everybody to feel there was absolutely no sense of urgency.
Certainly, three hours feels like three weeks in MLB-MLBPA time.
That kind of optimism led some people to believe we could have a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) today, preparing the scenario for spring training to start in a couple of days.
That’s not the case, though, and to be honest, there was never going to be a deal today.
The sides, for example, had been stalled in $15 million and $105 million (MLB the former, MLBPA the latter) in the bonus money available for compensation to the top performers of pre-arbitration status for weeks.
They weren’t going to make up for $90 million in a three-hour session, no matter how good it was.
Laying The Groundwork
ESPN insider Jeff Passan is out to put some perspective in the situation.
“For those getting excited about a potential labor deal today: Chill. It’s the first day of bargaining that could go on for a week. The hope is to lay groundwork, then make progress as talks continue. Take solace in the fact they’ve met for three hours,” he said.
For those getting excited about a potential labor deal today: Chill. It's the first day of bargaining that could go on for a week. The hope is to lay groundwork, then make progress as talks continue. Take solace in the fact they've met for three hours.
Debbie Downer pic.twitter.com/Eq0aSf1apD
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 21, 2022
Indeed, he agrees that three hours of keeping the league and the players’ union in the same building talking can only be taken as progress: they are not playing cards over there.
They surely made at least some kind of progress.
It’s impossible to know at this point, but we will all hear more about it soon enough.
Today wasn’t about reaching a deal: today was about setting the foundations of productive talks that could eventually lead to a deal.
Everybody needs to relax.